Shek O

A close-up view of a rocky legacy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 April, 2008, 12:00am


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A group of nature enthusiasts visited Shek O as part of a programme launched by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) to raise public awareness of rock conservation.

In collaboration with the Association for Geoconservation, the AFCD launched a series of eco-tours, called Exploring Hong Kong Landscape, last month to provide people with a better understanding of Hong Kong's geology.

The programme comprises six visits to some of the most magnificent scenic spots in Hong Kong, and is free.

The sites, which include Ma Shi Chau in Tai Po and Shek O (Hong Kong Island), feature wonderful landscapes and unique rock formations.

Led by experienced AFCD guide Erik Yip Hang-wing, more than 10 participants visited Shek O beach.

With an impressive coastline stretching to Deep Water Bay, Shek O is popular with both local and foreign visitors.

It is the ideal place to study the effects of rock erosion.

It has imposing geological formations, like the hexagonal rock columns facing the South China Sea.

'The rocks in Shek O were formed 100 to 200 years ago. The hills there are lashed by the waves day and night. That's why Shek O is the perfect place to study coastal erosion,' said Mr Yip.

Standing on top of a small hill overlooking the sea, the group enjoyed a bird's eye view of Ng Fan Chau which lay across the water.

A small island resembling a French baguette, Ng Fan Chau, was formed after years of erosion.

'The tidal waves kept chipping away at the fissures, finally cutting it [the island] up into [four] big chunks of rock,' explained Mr Yip.

At the end of the hour-long trip, Mr Yip reminded the visitors of the importance of rock conservation.

'Although Hong Kong is a tiny place, it has a magnificent collection of rocks and landscapes,' said Mr Yip.

'It takes millions of years for nature to leave its mark on the Earth. All those rocky outcrops are products of millions of years of erosion, which makes it all the more important to conserve them.'

For more details about the tours, visit